AMiable Solution #256: Paper Cuts
If your idea of “choosing” a paper stock for your printed marketing means looking at what the last marketer used, then you might want to reconsider your approach.
Choosing the wrong paper stock can cost you time.
You have the freedom to choose whatever paper stock you want for your job, but if you select one that’s too thick…well, that could slow down your mail processing time. Select one that’s too thin…your mailer could rip in the postal processing equipment, sending the remnants of your precious promotion into the recycle bin and your production schedule into chaos. Who has time for that?
Choosing the wrong paper stock can cost you more money.
You want your piece to look good, but people talk about having “too much of a good thing” for a reason. Sometimes you just don’t need the thickest or the glossiest or the brightest paper. Consider what you’re making, what you’re doing with it, and what you’re putting on it or in it. If one paper is sturdy enough for the machines, quality enough to make a good impression and produce good images, and appropriate for your message and content, then you probably don’t need anything heavier or fancier.
Choosing the wrong paper stock can cost you customers.
Unless you want your mailing to look homemade (and not so professional), you want to choose a stock that conveys confidence, stands up to the physical demands of delivery, and presents your campaign in the best way possible. For selfmailers, that might mean 80# stock (it’s probably the lightest weight you want to use). For promotions with photos of high-end products, that means coated stocks. For most catalogs, that probably means a 70# coated, 80# uncoated, or 100# coated paper. Your decision depends on your audience, your design and contents, and how long you hope your piece hangs around.
The paper you choose not only affects how people view your organization, but it also conveys a sense of quality and impacts the overall experience your customers have with you. Choose wisely, and when in doubt, talk to your printer or mailshop.